NFL Draft

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Rockford, Illinois
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Rockford, Illinois
When was the last time Illinois had a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft?
Kevin Hardy #2 and Simeon Rice #3 in 1996. I was in charge of the Illini Legends Golf Tournament silent auction that year, and I had their two signed jerseys on my coffee table as I watched the draft live on TV. When they went 2-3 I may have had a few adult beverages…
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Here's the draft info on Devon Witherspoon:

Draft Projection
Round 1

NFL Comparison
Levi Wallace

Witherspoon is a fun watch but requires evaluators to carefully consider his strengths and weaknesses relative to scheme. He plays with anticipation, route feel and a consistent sense of urgency to prevent catches, as displayed by his high number of pass breakups. He plays with ballhawking eyes and good balance from zone coverage and is very aggressive tackling both after the catch and in run support. There are snaps where he gets behind and stays behind due to a lack of premium speed and closing burst, so he might require help over the top or a more zone-oriented scheme to help him shine. The playmaking mentality and traits give him a solid chance to become a CB2 in the league.

-Allowed completion rate of just 34.9% in 2022, per PFF.
-Impressive route recognition and trigger on the throw.
-Eyes are probing from off coverages.
-Well-balanced defending high/low route concepts from zone.
-Instinctive with 14 pass breakups in 2022.
-Takes ball-side angles to disrupt the catch point.
-Zeroes in on receiver’s hands on deep throws.
-Physical with a striker’s mentality in run support and as tackler versus the pass.

-Can be jab-stepped off-balance by release fakes.
-Coverage is very handsy after the first five yards.
-Sluggish to transition hips and match route breaks from his backpedal.
-Top-end speed could be an issue at the next level.
-Lacks juice to make up the distance when he gets behind.
-Will bite hard on play-action and double moves.
EDPN IS A POS. They don't have us as the Illini nor Illinois. It's 4 IIII. That's who Spoon played for. So happy I quit watching that crap ESPN 8 years ago?
They're in bed with the SEC; what else would we expect.
Also, to not interview the #5 pick but interview the guys after him is garbage. Like when the Bulls drafted Ayo during a commercial break


Rockford, Illinois
Didn't show him in the green room, barely showed him greeting the commissioner, immediately went to commercial.
Where’s the DISLIKE button? They showed him shaking a few people’s hands, but no walking the walkway or putting a hat on. Along with no interview, and little mention of Illinois, ESPN just sucks. Regardless, I’m super happy for Spoon because he’s going to get paid BIG BUCKS. 🧡💙
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